From May 2013, the law regarding the sale or gift of a mobile home has changed. There is now a procedure to follow, with set forms that differ from a standard residential conveyancing transaction. The most notable change is that the site owner is no longer required to approve the buyer, although you must still notify the site owner of the proposed sale if you acquired the mobile home prior to 26 May 2013.
Emma Wells, assistant solicitor in the commercial property team at Ansons Solicitors, explains the new process and the changes you need to be aware of.
In preparing to sell a mobile home that you purchased prior to 26 May 2013, you should remember that you can sell your mobile home to anyone – although they will need to comply with any site rules. You must ensure that the buyer can do this.
Assemble the documents your buyer needs, including copies of the mobile home/pitch agreement (otherwise known as a written statement), rent book or receipted invoices for any rent, a list of fixtures and fittings, and any guarantees for any fixtures and fittings.
You must then forward them a copy of a completed buyer’s information form. This will provide details of:
You only need to send copies at this point, but they need to be legible. If you do not have any of the documents listed in the form you must inform the buyer why. The form has to be sent at least 28 days before completion. If you agree an earlier completion date, obtain written confirmation that the buyer agrees to waive the 28 day period.
Once the buyer confirms they want to proceed, notice must be given to the site owner of the proposed sale. This should include full details of the mobile home and the buyer. The buyer will also need to provide details of whether they intend to keep any animals or intend to park vehicles to comply with site rules. If the site has rules on the minimum age of occupants, then the buyer’s age will need to be disclosed too. The motice must be signed by the buyer and seller and then forwarded to the site owner.
The site owner has 21 days from receiving the notice to object. If the site owner confirms in writing that there is no objection, you can complete before the 21 days has expired. If not, you will need to wait the full 21 days before proceeding.
If the site owner objects to the sale going ahead, he must apply to a tribunal for a refusal order on grounds of age, pets or vehicles and give you notice of his application. The sale will be put on hold until the tribunal makes a decision.
If the site owner does not object, if you wait the 21 days, or if the tribunal decides in your favour, then the sale can proceed. You must sign an assignment form for the mobile home to change over to the buyer, including the buyer and the seller details, the purchase price, the commission and the pitch fee. This is signed by both parties.
Prior to completion, you should arrange a date when all fixtures and fittings, which are not being sold with the mobile home, are removed. You will also need to agree the meter readings and payment of any outstanding bills, as well as provide your new address. Once the assignment is complete, hand over all original documentation along with the keys.
Following completion, the buyer must send the site owner a notice of assignment, and pay the commission to the site owner within seven days of receipt. You must ensure that you advise the buyer of these responsibilities to ensure that the transaction is legal.
If you acquired the mobile home after 26 May 2013 the sale will proceed in a similar way to the procedure set out above, but the site owner will not be involved in the sale and will not require a notice of proposed sale. You will have to forward the buyer a copy of a completed buyer’s information form, complete and sign the assignment form. There is no need to give the site owner notice of the assignment or obtain the site owner’s consent.
For more details on selling or gifting a mobile home, please contact Emma Wells in the Ansons Solicitors commercial property team, on 01543 431 193 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ansons Solicitors has offices in Lichfield and Cannock, Staffordshire.